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Healthcare digitalisation

Remote measuring may offer benefits of millions of euros in the diagnosing of asthma.

The future of healthcare in Finland has remained a hot topic for several years due to the social and welfare reform. It will probably remain a hot topic for several years to come, as the digitalisation of healthcare will change treatment processes, the monitoring of healthcare services and customer interaction in the field of healthcare in many ways.

Elisa has facilitated this digitalisation development by creating several tools to assist healthcare professionals. In 2014, Elisa won the award for Best Mobile Service in Finland 2014 in the series “Best service improving the company’s efficiency or productivity” with its Elisa Etämittaus product.

The service enables the completion of different types of measurements related to diagnosing or monitoring a person’s health at their home with a digital measuring device and a smartphone application. The Elisa Etämittaus application assists the user in taking the measurements and sends the results in a secure manner directly to the healthcare personnel. Especially good results in the measurement of peak expiratory flow (PEF) when diagnosing asthma have been achieved with the service.

In 2016, Elisa studied the profitability potential of the remote measurement service together with the town of Hämeenlinna. The survey was aimed at determining the financial, environmental and social benefits remote measurement could offer in the care of patients with asthma. Based on the results, 173 patient visits and around 25 man-days of the healthcare personnel’s time could be saved annually in the basic healthcare system of the town of Hämeenlinna alone.

Using remote measurements in the care of asthma would, according to the survey, offer savings of at least 27 per cent for the healthcare provider.

Scaled to the level of the whole of Finland, this would mean 1,910 less working days for nurses or physicians, 16,700 hours of patients’ time saved, 3,200 kilograms less plastic waste, 25,000 kilograms less CO2 emissions and 97,000 kilowatt-hours less electricity consumed per year. The monetary value of these savings would be around EUR 3.5 million.

In addition to basic healthcare services, Elisa Etämittaus could be used to boost specialist healthcare, private healthcare and occupational healthcare services. Besides measurements for patients with asthma, the service would allow the measuring of blood pressure, blood sugar level, blood oxygen level and weight, for example. Furthermore, new measuring devices are added all the time.

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